Interested in getting involved in a new venture? Want to help your kids live a more active lifestyle? Explore the vast range of martial art schools across Malta and Gozo and get started on a challenging way of life. Rather than being just an after-work hobby or a sport like any other, martial arts is a way of life. It is an activity which focuses on both your physical feats and on your mental state of mind. Internal and external forces are both at play. It requires passion and dedication, but also the right kind of spirit and frame of mind if taught properly by professionals in the art.
Who can train martial arts?
Martial arts are open for everyone to experience. You'll find training sessions for adults, kids and older people, for males and females and for amateurs and professional trainees. You may opt for group lessons or one-to-one sessions, according to your preferred way of learning. There is no minimum or maximum age and no physical prerequisites, but do consult with your personal doctor to ensure you won't experience any strain which your body can't handle.
What martial arts are practised locally?
Hundreds of martial arts are practised around the world but only a selective few are taught locally. Some of the most common styles include Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Taekwondo, Kung fu, Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), Judo, Hapkimudo, mixed martial arts, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Aikido, Tai chi and Krav Maga. Most schools specialise on one specific style in an endeavour to master that specific art.
Each martial art has its own set of techniques and rules, according to its area of origin. From short, medium and long range techniques to leg and hand techniques, they are all based on scientific principles. Whether it's kicking, striking, immobilising, grappling, choking, blocking, or throwing you wish to focus on, there is a diversity of martial and combat arts and a variety of defensive and fighting arts with different aims. Weapons may or may not be used in certain styles.
Click here for short descriptions of popular martial arts. Each can be mastered if proper training is provided by the instructor and if you dedicate enough time and effort to the art in question.
Which martial art is best for you?
How do you choose the martial art which is best tailored to your physical body, requirements, targets and expectations? There's a vast range of martial arts which are taught in Malta but not all would be suitable for everyone. What will you need to consider?
Pinpoint what your purpose is. Is it self defence? Are you looking for an innovative workout or want to lose weight? Is achieving mental serenity your primary target? Looking for a combat art, or one which focuses more on defensive tactics? Do you prefer bare hands rather than use of weapons? Are you looking for a competitive activity or a relaxing one? No matter what your purpose is, you'll definitely find a relevant martial art for you.
Observe a range of different classes and gather information on a variety of martial arts to help you make an informed decision. You'll get an idea of the number of students, the instructors' behaviour and the general ambience. Take part in diverse training sessions if you feel the need to.
Do inquire about risk of injury. If you choose a style which focuses on close contact, you must be prepared to face certain physical demands. You may decide to try out a gentle style and then move on to a more intensive style later on. Seniors or people suffering from physical or mental conditions should ideally check with their doctor to ensure they can train martial arts safely.
What training will you go through in martial arts?
If you decide on a specific martial art, it is imperative that you take it seriously. If you want to make progress, regular training is of the utmost importance. Most schools carry out sessions almost every day, if not daily. The more training sessions you can attend per week and the more effort you're willing to put in, the more progress you'll make, and the more you'll be able to perfect your techniques and achieve your targets.
Some schools may offer free trials to help you determine whether it's something you want to challenge yourself in doing, so you won't commit yourself to an art before observing what it actually consists of. Most martial arts use belt systems which represent the level of expertise earned, and some schools take part in local and global championships.
Why do martial arts?
Martial arts bring with them multiple physical and mental benefits due to the holistic training which is carried out.
No matter what martial art you choose, regular training will boost your levels of fitness and stamina. You'll heighten physical characteristics, such as coordination, balance, strength and agility, and enhance reflex reactions, the latter being prominent in defensive arts.
A great number of people start attending martial art lessons for self defence purposes. No matter what your age or gender is, you can never know when you'll find yourself in a situation where you'll need to defend yourself or others around you.
Apart from heightening physical fitness, martial arts put a lot of emphasis on the mental and spiritual state of mind. They are renowned for the various benefits which they grant, especially discipline, self confidence, respect toward one's self and toward others, responsibility, self development, control, tactics and focus throughout the trainees' daily way of life. Discipline is especially reflected in the number of rules which need to be followed during training. Common ones include arriving on time for each session, bowing when required, removing shoes on mats, showing respect to fellow students and to the instructor and paying attention at all times. You'll enrich your character with developmental and spiritual attributes which will help you learn how to face difficulties and live a healthier lifestyle.
In order to master a particular art, all elements must work in harmony. If you have strength, but a wrong state of mind, or a righteous spirit but lack of fitness, the art cannot be mastered to its full potential. Martial arts will have a great impact on your everyday life if approached with the right attitude.
How much does Martial Arts cost?
Pricing varies considerably from one martial art to another so it's best to check with the school accordingly. You can decide to pay per session, monthly or opt for an annual membership package. Pricing will also vary according to whether you're interested in one-to-one lessons or group sessions. Training for kids may also be at a cheaper rate than adult training.
A number of schools also provide the necessary clothing and equipment to their students. If not, you'll be required to buy specialised gear and any required weapons.
Interested in commencing a healthy lifestyle? If you don't connect with any of the martial arts offered locally, click here to find out how you can live healthier.